'You’re A Jerk!' — Interview with New Boyz at Luther College

Dec. 1, 2009

By Rousheen Paisley, Luther College Public Information news writer    

New Boyz, who opened a Nov. 13 Sean Kingston concert at Luther College, performed to a sold out venue in the college’s Regents Center. After their performance and posing for a few pictures, the two New Boyz rappers, Ben J and Legacy reclined to the center’s south with their ‘hype man’ Tevin, changed into the “Luther Blue” shorts given to them by the college’s Student Activities Council and proceeded to play a game of two-on-two basketball with one of the SAC staff members.  

A sit-down interview with New Boyz after their pick-up game quickly became a casual conversation among friends as they openly expressed their initial perceptions of the small rural campus and their radically changed view of the place after their concert performance.

“We were driving down (from Mount Clemens, Mich.) and all we saw was corn and cows,” said Ben J. “I started twittering – I’m scared. (laughs) I didn’t know what to expect.”

Q: What did it feel like to perform at Luther College?

Ben J: Luther College is the livest show we ever performed for. It’s our first sold out show. Luther is the realest…we didn’t know what to expect coming in but when we got on stage the crowd was really feeling us. Performing here (Luther College) was really dope. I feel like the crowd wants us to come back and we want to come back.

Q: How did you get into rapping?

BJ: We got into rapping when we were really young. Legacy’s been rapping since he was like eight. I started a little later but once I started I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing.

Q: So how are you feeling after your first performance at Luther?

BJ: (Referring to the basketball game) man I’m tired, I wanna go play some football. I used to be a football player in high school. We just graduated this year and I haven’t played since.  

Q: What position did you play?

BJ: I was a running back. I quit football to rap. I couldn’t do both. Man I really miss it. But you know you can’t do everything at once so I had to make some sacrifices. Not everybody gets drafted for the NFL and rapping was a good opportunity for me plus I really love it. I’m gonna go back to school though. I’m thinking of going to San Diego State and I’ll play football for them. Legacy doesn’t really have a college in mind yet, but he’s thinking of going back too.

Q: What’s it like being so young and on the road all the time?

BJ: Man it’s hella fun (laughs). It’s the best job you could ever have. We don’t do nothing! (laughs). We go to the studio and rehearse our performances. That’s it. I love my job. It’s real dope.

Q:  How are you guys dealing with being famous? Cause you guys blew up real fast.

BJ: We just try to keep it humble. You know we tell ourselves, we’re not famous yet. You know, we have a long way to go and the worst thing you can do is get big-headed, so we try not to get big-headed. We wanna go all the way, and the best way to get there is to just stay humble. We just came out. “You’re a Jerk” made it big real fast and we’re building off it.

Q: So you guys came up with the dance?

BJ:  Nah we didn’t come up with the dance. It’s an LA intercity dance.

Q: You came up with the song though.

BJ: Yeah we came up with the song. We wanted to take the dance to the world and get it recognized. We wanted people to know about it and the best way we thought of was to say “You’re a jerk.” Cause everybody knows the word jerk, you know and the associate it with different things like if this girl says “my man is a jerk.” You know? Someone can just hear the song and say hey you know my friends call me a jerk. Then from there people get the lyrics stuck in their head cause it’s familiar, then they come around to really listening to it and knowing what it’s about. The “jerk.”

Q: Where do you guys see your career going? Where do you wanna go from here?

BJ: We intend to go into business. We want to moguls like Jay-Z and Diddy. We want to be successful.

Q: Do you guys have anything new you’re working on right now?

BJ: Yeah, we’re working on a mixtape right now that should be out in December or January.

Q: What’s the name?

BJ: We haven’t thought about that yet (laughs).

Q: Who else is gonna be on it?

BJ: We’re hoping to have the Dream, Lil’ Wayne and a couple more people. I think we’re getting Wayne on a track.

New Boyz members Ben J and Legacy are 18 years old. The two celebrated their birthdays on October 13 and October 12 respectively. Their album “Skinny Jeans and a Mic” is available in stores now.

To learn more about New Boyz, visit their myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/newboyz.